Variable Oakleaf Caterpillar

(Heterocampa manteo) - The fully grown larva of this species is about 1-1/2 in long and sparsely covered with short hairs. An individual larva may change color as feeding continues. The head varies in color from amber brown to yellow to green. Two lateral, curved bands adorn each side of the head. The overall body color may vary from pure green to yellow. A broad stripe which is highly variable in shape and size is often found on the back. The color of this stripe varies from light pink to dark red. The pupa is about ½ in long, stout, dark reddish brown, and shiny. It has two small spines at the posterior tip. The moth has a wing expanse of 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 in. Each forewing may be light or dark ashy gray with three darker, wavy, and diffused lines and one inconspicuous black spot. The hindwings are light brown.

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